Speaking on a visit to Balmoral Show, DUP MP Carla Lockhart has urged retailers to ensure that, amidst a range of cost pressures throughout the supply chain, farm gate prices are not squeezed to leave farmers in an unprofitable production cycle.
After engaging with some of the retailers displaying at the show, the DUP representative said:
“We are really in unchartered territory within the food supply chain, with the exorbitant rise in input costs putting huge pressures on farmers. As farmers take to the fields to sow fertiliser, they do so at a cost 300 per cent higher than last year. The diesel in the tractor has risen significantly. The electricity powering the farm itself has also risen sharply in price in the last year. It is causing huge distress and uncertainty for farmers as they try to balance the books between production cost and farm gate prices.
Retailers and processors need to be cognisant of the spiralling cost of production facing farmers, and whilst we are wary of the cost of living crisis and not wishing to pass price rises on to consumers, we need retailers to recognise that along the supply chain their profit margins remain healthy. There is simply no scope for farmers to absorb additional costs. This must be met across the food supply chain where profits margins remain.
Speaking to farmers here at the show it is clear the resolve is here to weather this financial storm, but it can only be sustained for so long. Certainty is needed to move forward and plan ahead. Government must also step up and address issues around energy costs. I will be championing these actions at Westminster and will do all I can to support farmers to get through this testing period.”